DEW Events, which has successfully organized the Footwear UK show in Birmingham twice a year since August 2000, is launching a new fair for the fashion end of the market in London. Called Footwear London, it will take place at the Olympia 2 exhibition center in the British capital next Sept. 26-28. The organizers want to hold it twice a year one week after the GDS in Düsseldorf, but because of next year’s Easter holiday schedule the next session will probably be during the first weekend of April.

The new show is intended to take the place of the previous London Shoe Show. Organized in a hotel in the Hammersmith district of London, it was showing the collections of about a dozen brands of dressy footwear, mostly from Italy and Spain, but it was becoming less and less important. Its demise was hastened by an unfortunate decision to hold its last session at the same time as the powerful MICAM fair in Milan. The new show coincides with Modacalzado in Madrid, making it tough for the Spanish brands, which will probably choose to exhibit at another small agents’ fair in London, the Kensington Shoe Event, which last assembled a dozen firms.Footwear London will occur just a few days before Eye2Eye, the new agents' show in London, which will present about 160 young fashion and designer collections for two days - Sept. 23-24 - coinciding with the end of the London Fashion Week.

Footwear London is starting off with about 60 companies. Confirmed exhibitors include Down to Earth, Dunlop, Gola, Grisport, Lisa Kay, Lotus, Manfield, Moda in Pelle, Pielsa and Wendel, among others. The organizers hope that some other better known brands will migrate to the new exhibition in due time.

DEW Events will continue to stage Footwear UK in Birmingham in February and August. Positioned in a more mainstream segment of the market, the show has now become an established fixture of the British landscape. As in previous editions, the Aug. 8-10 session will occupy over 9,000 square meters of space, featuring such brands as Barker, Geox, Keds, Primigi and Sebago.